The Jericho School District now requires that all staff members wear ID cards. While these cards are not as high tech as other schools’ cards that contain monitoring devices, the cards are aimed at ensuring the safety of the Jericho community.
“It’s all about safety,” said high school assistant principal Dr. Dagoberto Artiles. “When you’re walking in the halls you don’t always know who’s walking around you, so if you see anybody with the tag, you know they work here.”
Superintendent Mr. Henry Grishman explained how the new policy was decided. Jericho schools have a district wide safety committee, and over the past few years teachers and parents have requested that faculty wear ID badges.
“We finally made the decision last spring that starting this school year we would have everyone wear name badges,” said Grishman.
Science teacher, Mrs. Cancemi, is excited about the new ruling. She said: “As somebody who has been here for a long time, there are a lot of new people coming into the building. Having the IDs lets me know that the adults I see in the building actually belong in the building.”
Math teacher Mrs. Harsche agrees, saying that it is a useful tool in getting to know new faculty members.
“I think it is helpful because we can identify the adults that are walking through the halls because you don’t always know everybody,” she said.
Teachers on hall duty often have a difficult time identifying visitors. Cancemi said the ID program eliminates uncomfortable questions.
“On certain hall duties you see people you might not know and you have to ask who they are,” she said. “It can become uncomfortable.”
History teachers Ms. Kakounis and Mrs. DiGangi enjoy wearing their ID cards because they like being able to identify the people in the building. DiGangi also likes having the ID cards because she said that she is “really bad with names.”
Principal Joan Rosenberg said: “Many staff and parents had wanted people to be wearing these because it is such a huge complex and we have so many people that come and go.”
Rosenberg explained that after 9 a.m. the school has three doors that visitors can enter through. They are located by the high school attendance office, the middle school security desk, and the central office. The visitor must sign in and show proper identification, and is then given a temporary sticker that has the visitor’s name, the date, and the time he or she signed in. Anyone without an ID badge must have one of these visitor’s passes.
English teacher Mr. Darr believes that if the school is going to take identification seriously, everyone should be wearing ID cards.
“We will know if there are adults in the building that shouldn’t be here, but also if there are kids in the building that shouldn’t be here,” he said.
Artiles feels the new plan ensures a sense of ease.
“At the end of the day, we all have to be conscious about our responsibilities,” said Artiles. “The ID cards make us feel more comfortable.”